Broken-down Poetry: more community chatter.


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Monday, April 14, 2008

more community chatter.

I have been thinking about the idea of community for a while now, as you learned from my previous blog. I think the concept, pertaining to Christianity in particular, is fascinating. Yes, it really is.

In my last blog I also said that I was experiencing a "perfect" community but, as Sarah politely pointed out, my CLAM group (Austin, Matt and I) is not "perfect" because we are "imperfect" people-by man's standards and God's.

But I do want to look at the idea of a perfect community even though I don't truly know what that is by experience (you win, Sarah), but because I believe that's what God designed us for. But with sin, that community cannot exist.

PART ONE: Christianity is not a democracy.

The foundation of our youth group is centered on this one passage of scripture (ready, Tom?) "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." [Acts 2:42-47]

I love this passage because it solely proves my next point. Get ready for it folks:

Christian community is a lot like SOCIALISM. (Really, it's a lot like COMMUNISM with Christ at its head, but let's not push it.)

DEFINITION: Socialism refers to the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community.[1] This control may be either direct-exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils-or indirect-exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by state, worker, or community ownership of the means of production, goals which have been attributed to, and claimed by, a number of political parties and governments throughout history. [says]

Now I mostly said that for a reaction. Let me explain myself before you mutter Lauren is Stalin under your breath.

The basic principle of the Christian Community described in Acts looks like this: people work hard, and use what they have to give to others in their community. People "pool their resources" to make sure everyone had what they needed. They don't earn status through their paychecks, but use everything they have to serve others. (Really, I just restated Acts 2:44)

Isn't that the basis of a "good" socialistic society? Everyone works to provide for the needs of others. That's what Eugene V. Debs wanted, right?

I don't know enough about socialism to go into much detail, but you understand the point. The way the Bible describes the early church is a lot like the socialistic nations of yesteryear. BUT.

Those countries were screwed up, Laur. Especially when you start comparing the Christian Community to communism. God isn't Stalin either.

Well, yes. That is because (let us reiterate Sarah's point once more) WE ARE NOT PERFECT. Socialism doesn't work for godless countries, so we cannot help but assume it won't work for God-filled communities that are, at the root of it all, sinners.

Let me work backwards here again. We know politically that socialism doesn't work because it gives the wrong people power AND citizens never do their share of work. BUT what if they did?

What if everyone in the country did their share of work and the leaders did not abuse their power? I think socialism would be a fine machine, don't you? But we all know that doesn't happen, not for countries.

But what about for Christianity? Can it work?

I mentioned in my last blog how I was fed up with the imperfect Christian Community, the one focused on trivial drama rather than the interests of others. But what about CLAM? What if the rest of the youth group, the church, the city, the state, nation, or the Church herself became dedicated to others' needs instead of just their own?

We could make this "socialism" thing work. Rather, we could make this "Acts 2:42-47" thing work.

Sure there will be flaws. There can't be a perfect community here on earth but we sure should try. God gave us the early church's example for a reason.

I believe we shall follow it. :-)

1 comment:

more community chatter. said...

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